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Journal and Research Impact

Find Journal Bibliometrics and Impact Factors

Journal Impact Factor (Journal Citation Reports, by Clarivate Analytics)

If a journal title is not found in Journal Citation Reports, see if it is included in the Web of Science Master List.  If not, the journal is unlikely to have a Journal Impact Factor since JCR includes only titles from the Master List.  

CiteScore (by Elsevier)

Eigenfactor Score

Eigenfactor Scores through 2015 are freely provided on its web page.  Current Eigenfactor Scores can be found either through Journal Citation Reports or by visiting a journal's web page.  

CWTS Journal Indicators (by Leiden University)


Journal Web Sites

Journal-level metrics can often be found on a journal's website if it was given one.  See its "About" section, or "Journal Home," "Overview," or similar areas of the journal web site.  See the example and links below.

A journal's web site should also provide contact information for their editors and editorial board who may be able to advise. 

What is a good bibliometric score or JIF?

It depends.  Various disciplines measure their publications differently from one another, and also have differences in their publishing norms.  One shortcoming of bibliometrics is some types are not normalized for field differences.   

Here is a comparison of the Journal Impact Factors (JIFs) between a medical journal with one in library and information science journal.  These journals are ranked as top ones in their Journal Citation Reports (JCR) category.  Notice their differences.  As a field, medicine has a longer publishing history and their articles cite others more frequently in comparison to library science, accounting for their large differences in JIF.

JCR Category (Discipline) Journal Title Year of First Publication JIF (2021) Number of Citations
Medicine, General and Internal Lancet 1823 ~200 403,222
Information Science and Library Science International Journal of Information Management 1980 ~18 17,621

Source: JCR: Journal Citation Reports, January 2023.  https://jcr.clarivate/jcr/

Also, the length of time a publication has been in existence and the number of its articles cited influence its bibliometric indicators; publications that are long-established tend to be favored.  In summary, a standardized ranking or scale that identifies "high impact" for all disciplines does not exist.

How can I determine what is a good bibliometric?

1.  Keep in mind that not all scholarly journals are included in indexes like Scopus or Web of Science.  Those that are not included typically do not have journal metrics.

2.  Use tools such as Scopus Preview (CiteScore) and others like it to identify metrics.

3.  Comparisons.  Comparing journals with others in a field or discipline is not an exact science; disciplines often overlap in what they study, and their boundaries can be unclear.  However, comparisons can be done for exploratory purposes.  For this example, a geoscientist can get an idea of CiteScore ranges for journals in his or her field (with 31.07 being the highest to 3.71 being the lowest in 2018), and possibly mention this range in a review or for a promotion and tenure bid.

Image: Scopus Preview, Earth and Planetary Sciences.

What if I can't find an Impact Factor?

If your journal does not have a Journal Impact Factor or other bibliometrics, it does not necessarily indicate it as a poor quality or low impact publication.  Here are some reasons a journal may not have one:

  1. Publication norms by discipline:  Fields that rely on peer-reviewed journals for communicating scholarly activity, or those with high citation density (that is, frequently or very highly cite previous works) use journal metrics more than fields that do not.  Many science, technology, and health science fields use metrics while most in arts and humanities do not.  By their disciplinary norms, the latter communicates more frequently through monographs (books), secondary sources, or creative works (musical scores, performances, art) instead of publishing in journals.

  2. Indexing:  Academic publishers (Elsevier or Clarivate Analytics) or organizations (SCImago, CTWS) generate their metrics from indexes that have a list of select journals.  The CiteScore is given to most Elsevier journals and other publications in the Scopus index while a Journal Impact Factor is given to journals indexed in the Web of Science Master List.  If a journal does not have a metric, it may not had been included in one or both of these indexes.

  3. Age of publication:  Blbliometrics are generated for a given year by analyzing a work or author's prior years of activity.  If a publication is less than 3 years old, it will not have enough data to create a bibliometric. Also, journals that are included in indexes are evaluated on its characteristics; the length of time it has been published is one consideration for inclusion.

  4. Open Access publications:  Its age may be a reason for not having a bibliometric if it is less than 3 years old.  Also, some OA publications may not yet be included in the indexes of major academic publishers.

  5. Location and language of publication: Indexes include fewer journals that are published in emerging research nations in proportion to those published in western Europe and North America.  Indexes include more journals published in the English language and include fewer published in other world languages.
Last updated on Mar 8, 2023 11:36 AM